Do you ever feel like you wake up one day and everything is a mess? Every few weeks, I get hit with a ‘what is happening’ and have this sudden urge to reorganize my life, typically after a long week of work, a really chaotic period of time, or when I’m simply in a bit of a funk.
And every time, I’m learning more and more about what I actually need to do to feel ok again, which honestly, sometimes is a mystery even to myself.
But in case you are trying to get your sh*t together too, here are a few things I’ve found helpful for when you want to reset and recharge.
Start your day with a win
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again but I am very very very unfit. Like I’d run for 5 mins and be out of breath kind of unfit (looking at you work people).
HOWEVER, I’ve found some joy in starting the day with a quick workout, whether that is a 10-min exercise, a 15-min yoga stretch, or a full-blown HIIT session.
With no fail, every time I start my day with a workout, it makes me feel productive and accomplished start, which motivation and energy then carries me over to the rest of the day day. Especially when I’m not feeling the best, I make sure to at least do SOME sort of workout and I’d at least feel marginally better afterward.
Give yourself some morning peace
In the past month or so, I’ve been trying to actually regulate my sleeping schedule for once. Instead of my usual 2 am sleep time, I make the effort to be in bed by 10 and wake up by 7 am. It doesn’t always work, but when it does, I feel like I have all the time in the world before I have to get on with my day. After a workout, I’d hop on the shower and then make myself a proper breakfast or tea. Even if I just have a cup of tea and sit for a few minutes, it usually helps me get mentally prepared, even when I felt a mess the day before.
Build habits that stick
Recently, I read the book Atomic Habits which as the name would suggest, motivated me into assessing what habits I want to add to my life that will increase my overall productivity and happiness.
One of the few habits that I wanted to build is to read more books. But the many times I’ve tried before, I always end up abandoning this after a few days.
Not this time though!
I finally figured out how to make myself want to read and actually be happy every time I finish reading, and that is, to build it into my already existing routine, like a commute! I know it sounds super simple, but it seriously changes the game when you put your new habits with an already ongoing routine. I am the kind of person who likes efficiency, sometimes to an excess, and I hate doing things that seem to waste my time. But with my commute, I have a dedicated 30+ mins each way 5-day a week, which means now I spend all that time on reading my books. Another thing checked off before my day or work really begins.
Not only reading, but I also try to keep up and track other random habits I do on the day to day basis, including a workout and cooking routine.
I use an app called Habit, which checkmarks add extra motivation to do something and bonus, it’s a visually pleasing app that I don’t mind starring at multiple times a day. It also has this percentage thing that calculates your success rate the more or less you check off your habit. I love this app and definitely recommend it to whoever wants an easy way to track your day to day routines.
Break tasks into chunks
Usually, when I get overwhelmed or stuck in a funk, it has to do with dreading something that I have to do. Whether that is work or something in my personal projects that I am struggling with. A good way to combat this for me is to really break everything down into one action at a time and write that out. I use Notion, which by the way is an AMAZING app that you can basically build to fit however you like to organize things. From simple to-do list to Trello like kanban board, to an actual database worthy pages.
My favorite way to use Notion is to note down every little thing I have to do, whether it’s sending an email at work, or completing a life errands, I put everything I need to do on there and then sort it out into different stages of completion and organization. It helps to make projects seem more doable and less daunting by actually seeing all the steps I need to take to reach the bigger goal.
Side note, I also use Notion to keep track of things I want to read later, which I have found to be super helpful too when I have some spare time and don’t know what to do, I’d find myself going there and read. Overall a fantastic productivity tool that I will continue to swear by.
Work in intervals
An old tip that I finally picked up recently is to also work in short intervals, like 20 or so minutes.
When I’m working, I tend to get distracted by checking emails, notifications, or just reach for my phone. I can’t help it, it’s sort of just a habit I’ve yet to break.
Now when I need to be in a super focus mode, I set a timer for an interval where I just have to work … and then have a break where I can freely check stuff without feeling guilty.
Find tools that can actually help you
I’ve mentioned a few apps here, but I also want to give a shoutout to Agenda for being my organize note-taking support, incredibly helpful for a lowkey messy person who needs all the help they can get.
Daylio, I find it to be useful when I’m particularly in a consistent bad mood. For me, it’s a bit harder to motivate myself to check in on there every day, but when I did do it, I liked that I can analyze and find patterns as to why I’m feeling a certain way and what I can do to prevent it from repeating.
And lastly, a super basic one, Notes on Apple never fails to be there when I need to quickly jot down something or cannot be bothered to put it into my Notion system. I typically reserve this for random thoughts, many one-time-use lists like groceries, or a quick reminder to be turned into a Notion ticket later. It’s not organized AT ALL, which sometimes when I scroll I actually laughed at how absurd these notes are, but it’s what I first gravitate for in a short time before I lose my train of thoughts.
One last thing, don’t forget to observe how you feel about these new changes and adapt to what actually fits your way of thinking and working. I change my routine pretty often (aka whenever I feel stuck and need a change), but these are what I have found to be a good place to start to sort out my life. Think of your life and habits as a continuous adaptation and upgrades until you find the magic potion, if you will. Add or remove things that you want to change, and see how that works for you!
Let me know if there are any tips you’ve found to help yourself get your sh*t together, maybe in the next round of panic, I’ll need something new to sort out my life so do share! ?